US war veterans sign up for the organic F*A*R*M*Y

“Working with plants and living things you become a nurturer instead of a destroyer — this has been the biggest realisation for me in my transition back to the civilised world.”

These are the words of Phil, a young Iraq war veteran. He is one of a growing number of US war veterans who are turning to farming, and organic farming specifically, when they return from duty — often battle-weary and traumatised.

Their moving and inspiring stories are brought together in a new movie documentary — A Greater Mission — made by campaigning film makers Walk Your Talk Productions. Co-director, Raymond Singer, was inspired to make the film after finding out about a group called the Farmer-Veteran Coalition which mentors returning war veterans.

After meeting with some of the returning soldiers Singer says he was “driven to tell this story of veterans transitioning back, recovering from the trauma of war, by turning to the gifts of the land through farming”

In the film one of the farmers working with the veterans, Joe, comments that “through organic farming these vets are able to continue to serve their communities, their public”.

One of the veterans interviewed, Cory, says: “It’s the perfect transition. It puts you with people who are kinda like the people you work with.” And he adds, with insightfulness that only a former soldier could give to the observation: “This is important work we are doing, because food security, energy security are in direct relation to national security.” As the camera pans back it reveals the slogan Cory has on his T-shirt. F*A*R*M*Y it reads, in M*A*S*H lettering.

A five-minute trailer for A Greater Mission can be seen here.